UK Promo Photo #29

Posted on 20th June 2017 in "Times Square"
"29. In a distressed condition, Nicky (ROBIN JOHNSON) tries to tell her story in the radio station. A scene from "TIMES SQUARE" distributed by COLUMBIA/EMI/WARNER Film Distributors."

“29. In a distressed condition, Nicky (ROBIN JOHNSON) tries to tell her story in the radio station. A scene from “TIMES SQUARE” distributed by COLUMBIA/EMI/WARNER Film Distributors.”

The promotional stills for Times Square in the UK generally had a few things in common. They were full-bleed, with no white border like their US counterparts. When they did have a border, it was even all the way around, where the American ones often had a large area at the bottom with the name of the film and the distributor (and in some cases, a caption). And, where the US stills had a complicated number written near their bottom edge (in the style of “TS-72-8A/14”), the UK ones had a tiny one- or two-digit number written on what looked like a small pasted-in square. Most of them also had “TIMES SQUARE” stamped on the back; this one doesn’t.

features a pasted-on paper strip describing the image on the front: "29. In a distressed condition, Nicky (ROBIN JOHNSON) tries to tell her story in the radio station. A scene from "TIMES SQUARE" distributed by COLUMBIA/EMI/WARNER Film Distributors."This one also doesn’t have the number anywhere on its front — I’ve checked with varying levels of darkness and contrast, and it’s not just hard to see, it isn’t there — but it does have a piece of paper pasted to its back with the number and a caption. The number is also handwritten in blue ink, and there’s a little blue scribble on the front — I don’t know whether that’s part of its original condition or if it was added later.

The UK Press Kit contained photos 1 – 11, although the eleven photos in my copy are almost certainly not all the ones originally issued with it. The highest numbered shot from this series I’ve yet found is 36, the widely distributed head shot of Robin as Nicky used on the American movie poster and the soundtrack album cover.

This particular photo was also half of a two-photo 8×10, also used for promotion in the UK. This one had a slightly longer caption, and included a credit for Robert Stigwood that misspelled his name “Stigward.” I’ve found two of these 2-on-1’s so far, and finding this item leads me to suspect, or at least hope, that the other three images used on them will also one day turn up as 8x10s.

Judging by the angle, this was taken shortly before the picture on the UK lobby card. The shooting schedule was so short that it must have been the same day as the take that appeared in the film, but the publicity shots are all from either run-throughs or alternate takes, or were staged expressly for the publicity stills.



Times Square publicity still 29
black-and-white photograph, AAT ID: 300128347
UK ; 20.3 x 25.4 cm. (work)
1981 UK promo photo 29_manual_color_1080px.jpg
864 px (H) x 1080 px (W), 96 dpi, 412 kb (image)


Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+


Allan Moyle, still at work

Posted on 8th February 2017 in "Times Square"

Allan Moyle directs Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson in the WJAD studio

And here’s another shot of Allan Moyle giving the girls direction, this time for the “Your Daughter Is One” sequence. I can only imagine what Trini and Robin are thinking, based on their expressions. I wonder what Moyle was telling them.

Behind Moyle, on the left and out of focus, is the assistant director, Alan “Hoppy” Hopkins. We can’t see the headstock on Nicky’s guitar, so we can’t tell if this was taken before or after the “Rickenbacker” nameplate was removed (it doesn’t appear in the film).

And again, surprisingly for what should be one of the most interesting Times Square finds ever, that’s all I have to say about this. Here are the stars and director hard at work months before things started to go bad.

I still wonder occasionally whether the WJAD interiors were shot at the top floor of the Candler Building, where the exteriors were shot, or if they were on a set built somewhere, and if so, where. I’ve checked with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting, and they’ve long since disposed of all the records of location permits for productions that long ago.

The back of this photo has the handwritten notation, “116-16A.” I don’t know when that was written, who wrote it, or what it might mean.



[Allan Moyle directs Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnson in the WJAD studio]
black-and-white photograph : AAT ID: 300128347 : 20.8 x 25.4 cm : 1979 (work);
116-16A auto_1080px.jpg
882 x 1080 px, 96 dpi, 330 kb (image)


Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+


Times Square Press Material folder (post 4 of 5)

Posted on 23rd May 2015 in "Times Square"
Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta, holding her Rickenbacker guitar in the WJAD studio.  Publicity still from the "Times Square" US Press Materials folder.  Text:  (on image) TS-69-34A/4  (on border)TIMES SQUARE AFD ©1980 Associated Film Distribution

Robin Johnson is a runaway teenage product of the streets who dreams of becoming a rock music star and lets nothing get in her way to make it to the top in “Times Square.”

Publicity still of Trini Alvarado and Robin Johnsonperforming "Your Daughter Is One" in the WJAD studio, from the "Times Square" US Press Materials folder.   Text:  TS-72-8A/14 TIMES SQUARE AFD ©1980 Associated Film Distribution

Robin Johnson (right) is determined to become a rock music star, Trini Alvarado is her fellow teenage runaway and their wild, bizarre escapades in New York make them minor media celebrities when reported by an all-night radio disc jockey in “Times Square.”


On the left is the same photo as this one, cropped differently and of course without the autograph.

On the right is the photo that may be the one used the most to promote the film. We’ll have a better idea about that once I’m done with all this stuff. Until just now, I always thought it was a cropped version of this photo (that version of which I’ve only seen on the Web and believe to have been cut from a UK lobby card), but now I realize they were taken a second or two apart. Look at their arms.

Publicity still of Trini Alvarado in the Cleo Club, from the "Times Square" US Press Materials folder. Text: (on image) TS-113-4A/6 (on border) TIMES SQUARE AFD ©1980 Associated Film Distribution

Trini Alvarado is co-starred as the troubled teenage daughter of a New York politician whose lack of attention turns the girl into a teenage runaway and a try at becoming a dancing attraction in a sleazy nitery in “Times Square.”

Publicity still of Peter Coffield and Tim Curry in the WJAD studio from the "Times Square" US Press Materials folder. Text: (on image) TS-78-2/16 (on border) TIMES SQUARE AFD ©1980 Associated Film Distribution

Peter Coffield (left), ambitious New York politician and widower, confronts disc jockey Tim Curry when the all-night performer encourages Coffield’s runaway daughter to continue her rebellion against authority in “Times Square.”



As always, there is no shot in the film that matches up either of these two photos. Mr. Pearl does throw Johnny into the table as at left, but the shot cuts from a close-up of Pearl grabbing Johnny and pushing him to a close-up of Johnny landing; there is no shot of the two of them. Also, Johnny’s hand never touches the mic stand as it does in the photograph. There is nothing even close enough to bother with a frame grab.

We see Pammy looking in the mirror fairly clearly in the film, but just like these photos, in the film we see it from her father’s perspective, and she’s not quite in the same pose as in the photo. Here’s the closest frame from the film:

Pammy Pearl experiments with her look in the Cleo Club - frame grab from "Times Square" (1980)



1080 px (H) x 862 px (W), 96 dpi, 297 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 856 px (W), 96 dpi, 311 kb (image)
1080 px (W) x 856 px (H), 96 dpi, 289 kb (image)
1080 px (H) x 862 px (W), 96 dpi, 257 kb (image)
black and white photographic prints, 8 in (H) x 10 in (W) (works);

inscriptions: [on photos] TS-69-34A/4; TS-72-8A/14; TS-78-2/16; TS-113-4A/6;
(on borders) TIMES SQUARE
©1980 Associated
Film Distribution


853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 872 kb (image)
frame capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2015-04-12


Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+


Nicky Marotta in the Studio

Posted on 1st January 2015 in "Times Square"

Robin Johnson as Nicky Marotta holding her Rickenbacker in the WJAD radio studio. Image is identified as 69-34A-4 in the lower right-hand corner. Photo is autographed by Robin Johnson (probably around January 1981).The WJAD studio, that is. This is an 8 x 10″ print with no border, with the little handwritten identification number 69-34A-4 added to the print in the lower right-hand corner. It was shot during the filming of the “Your Daughter Is One” performance, but doesn’t come close enough to any shot from the film to even try to find a similar image. At no point in the film does Nicky turn to her left and smile; she spends the entire scene facing the microphone.

This photo will appear again at least once, in the American press kit folder. That version is smaller, to allow for a border, and is cropped at the top and bottom, but shows a tiny bit more along the left edge. It has the same number, but it’s rewritten in a slightly different format, because the one that appears here is cropped out. I don’t know for sure that this one predates that one, but I have to make some kind of decision of what order to put these in. This series are all photos that don’t have “Times Square” printed on them.

Not on the front, anyway. This object has handwritten on the back in black ink, “Robin Johnson / ‘TIMES SQUARE'” at the top, and “Times Square” in yellow ink at the bottom. Those were probably added by memorabilia dealers or previous owners. You’ve probably noticed that it’s also signed on the front by Robin… yes, that’s really her signature. No, I’ve never met her. That’s an autograph from back in the day. This item came from England, so it was probably signed during her publicity tour for Times Square in January 1981. Should I have waited to post this until I get to the stuff from her trip to England? Too late, here it is.


B&W photographic print, 8 in (W) x 10 in (H) (work);
862 px (W) x 1080 px (H), 96 dpi, 338 kb (image)

inscription: [on front:] 69-34-A [autographed:] Robin Johnson
[on back:] [handwritten in black ink:] Robin Johnson / “TIMES SQUARE”
[handwrtitten in yellow ink:] Times Square


Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+


Posted on 23rd October 2014 in "Times Square"

The originals of these first two images weren’t collected by me. They’re located on an old, apparently long-abandoned Angelfire site on which Mr. Charles E. Rowe, Jr. documented some of his career in radio, part of which was spent at the Bainbridge, Georgia station WJAD (now WGEX). When these call letters were used for the fictional New York City station in Times Square, it was an important event, so of course he documented it. Unfortunately, two of Mr. Rowe’s four images have not survived, having vanished from the Web even before’s first crawl of the site in 2001. (Or their links or filenames were mis-written — either way, they’re inaccessible.)"Stigwood's Flick Set For Summer" from Radio and Records 1980 So we don’t have the picture he captioned “Letter from Ron Stigwood requesting permission to use Station Call Lettters WJAD for ‘Times Square’ Movie” (Ron Stigwood was Times Square‘s Location Manager). I might have a copy of his “Promotional Flier Cover Page for the newly released movie,” but I may never know for sure what the image was he was describing.

We do have his “Radio and Records announcement of the production of the movie,” and it’s the earliest piece of advance promotion I know of. And the destiny of the film’s production is right there plain as day. As you might remember from a few episodes ago, Jacob Brackman’s screenplay from Allan Moyle’s story had a soundtrack of early 70’s FM soft rock and a little disco. This article makes it firmly “Stigwood’s flick,” and defines it as “A New Wave ‘Saturday Night Fever.'” Not one frame had yet been shot, and the focus had already shifted to the soundtrack, to be made up entirely of songs that had no place in the original concept.

(Yes, this publication was for radio professionals who of course would be more interested in the music than the film itself. And yes, the New Wave focus of the soundtrack is one of the best things about the finished movie. That’s not the point. The moment Robert Stigwood agreed to produce the film, it became a tool for him to sell records and its fate was set.)

"Picture of Station Call Letters WJAD sign of steel and neon construction on a downtown building, in the Big Apple"



Mr. Rowe described this photograph “Picture of Station Call Letters WJAD sign of steel and neon construction on a downtown building, in the Big Apple.” Actually, it’s not downtown at all; it’s the Candler Building, 220 West 42nd St., in the heart of Times Square right where Johnny LaGuardia says it is. Directly across the street from the Times Square Theater. The neon sign is facing east, as far as I can tell. The right side of the building in the picture is facing north and 42nd Street.

I don’t know where the interiors of WJAD were shot, but all the exteriors were shot there at the top of the Candler Building. The early shots in the film showing the Carter Hotel, the Times Square Building, and the Milford Plaza (which I think hadn’t yet been reopened under that name) were taken from there. That much was accurate; if the station was supposed to be located there, that’s exactly what Johnny was seeing when he went outside.

WJAD New York, in "the Heart of the Beast"





In this screencap from the film, you can just make out Johnny’s telescope.


Yeah, other than the mention in that Stigwood article, there’s no Robin in this post. Sorry about that. I’ll do better next time.



315 px (W) x 377 px (H), 100 dpi, 42.9 KB (image)
ca. 1980
retrieved on 2014-03-23 from
346 px (W) x 465 px (H), 100 dpi, 31.6 KB (image)
ca. 1980
retrieved on 2014-03-23 from
853 px (W) x 480 px (H), 72 dpi, 404 KB (image)
screen capture from Times Square (1980)
captured 2014-10-18
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+